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Departments Join Forces in Anti-piracy Campaign
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China issued a statement on Friday to show the country's commitment to a campaign, the largest of its kind in recent years, to curb piracy in the audio-video and software production industry.

Ten departments, including the National Anti-Piracy Office, the ministries of culture, public security, construction and supervision, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, and the General Administration of Press and Publication, have joined forces for the campaign.

"Promotion of legal copies of CDs, DVDs and computer software is China's unremitting and unshakeable commitment," announced Long Xinmin, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication and the National Copyright Administration.

He made the remark during a ceremony launching a 100-day anti-piracy campaign that began on Saturday and will run until October 25.

Roadside vendors and licensed video storekeepers are all on a market checklist, the statement said.

"Previous working experience told us pirated discs and software were sold not only by mobile and small-sized vendors, but also on the shelves in lots of licensed, well-decorated video shops," said Liu Binjie, chief of the National Anti-Piracy Office.

Any person or organization found involved in manufacturing, transporting, selling or renting houses for storing pirated discs would be subject to even stricter penalties and closed down, according to Liu.

From July 15 to August 15, all pirated discs and software sellers will be urged to quit this "illegal but profitable" business and have regular contact with local market investigators by submitting self-check reports every week.

For those still selling illegal copies after mid-August, stricter punishments will be dealt, with a minimum fine of 10,000 yuan (US$1,250).

The business licenses of sellers will be revoked if more than 100 discs are found for sale.

"In order to avoid any corruption in the campaign, the supervision authority has for the first time been invited to join the team to guarantee the fairness, justice and transparency of the action," Liu added.

The move is part of the nation's efforts to protect intellectual property rights (IPR).

Publications with content threatening public security and social stability or that use illegal print numbers are also on the crackdown list.

(China Daily July 15, 2006)

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